Oldest Active MLB Players

11 Oldest Active MLB Players

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Like many major league sports, the age of the players in the MLB ranges widely. Currently, there are a few players in the league who were drafted right out of high school and are 19/20. All of the players on this list are double the age of these young players and have had careers nearly two-decades long. Many of the oldest active players started their careers in the early 2000s and may or may not retire following the end of the current season.

Please note that any players that were unsigned free agents at the time of this writing were left off the list. Additionally, as of October 2019, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

11. Adam Wainwright (August 30, 1981 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 38 years, 55 days
Current Team:  St. Louis Cardinals
MLB Debut: September 11, 2005
Position:  Pitcher

Adam Wainwrightphoto source: Wikimedia Commons


Adam Wainwright is the only player on this list who has spent his entire MLB career with just one team; he has been the pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals since 2005. Wainwright was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2000 and he did so well in the minors that he became the team’s top pitching prospect. In 2003, the Braves traded Wainwright to the Cardinals, where he has remained since.

Did You Know?

In 2014, Adam Wainwright became the first pitcher in Major League history to post nine of his first 18 starts with seven innings pitched and no runs allowed. In his career, Wainwright has won more than 150 games, three All-Star selections, two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and finished in the top three in the Cy Young Award balloting four times.


10. Óliver Pérez (August 15, 1981 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 38 years, 70 days
Current Team:  Cleveland Indians
MLB Debut: June 16, 2002
Position:  Pitcher

photo source: Wikimedia Commons via Arturo Pardavila III

Mexican-born Óliver Pérez, who turned 38 just a few months ago, has been playing professionally baseball for 17 years. Pérez made his debut in 2002 with the San Diego Padres, before he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003. After spending a few years with the Pirates, Pérez played for the New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros, and the Washington Nationals. Since 2018, Pérez has played with the Cleveland Indians.

Did You Know?

In addition to the MLB, Óliver Pérez has also competed for the Mexican national baseball team in the 2006, 2009, and 2013 World Baseball Classics.


9. Ben Zobrist (May 26, 1981 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 38 years, 151 days
Current Team:  Chicago Cubs
MLB Debut: August 1, 2006
Position:  Utility player

Ben Zobristphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Ian D’Andrea

Ben Zobrist is known for being a “super utility player” due to his versatility. Zobrist is a switch-hitter with a high walk rate, he has played roughly half his innings at second base, and has also spent significant time at shortstop and various outfield positions.

According to Zobrist, he started playing baseball at eight years old after he and his friends built their own wiffle ball field. Zobrist continued to play baseball during college and was drafted in 2004 by the Houston Astros. Two years later, Zobrist was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays and he played in his first Major League game in 2006.

Did You Know?

Ben Zobrist is one of only seven players in MLB history to have won back-to back World Series championships on different teams, the other six being Jake Peavy, Jack Morris, Bill Skowron, Clem Labine, Don Gullett, and Ryan Theriot.


8. Curtis Granderson (March 16, 1981 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 38 years, 222 days
Current Team:  Miami Marlins
MLB Debut: September 13, 2004
Position:  Outfielder

Curtis Grandersonphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via slgckgc

Curtis Granderson is one of several MLB players currently in his late 30s. Granderson grew up playing baseball and basketball, but chose to go after a baseball career as he got older. In the third round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft, Granderson was drafted by the Detroit Tigers. After two years in the minors, the Tigers promoted Granderson to the majors in 2004.

Granderson left the Tigers in 2009 and went on to play for the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Milwaukee Brewers, before joining the Miami Marlins in early 2019.

Did You Know?

Off the field, Curtis Granderson is recognized for his commitment to the community through outreach and charity work. Granderson has won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award three times and the Roberto Clemente Award in 2016 in recognition of his contributions in the community.


7. Rajai Davis (October 19, 1980 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 39 years, 5 days
Current Team:  New York Mets
MLB Debut: August 14, 2006
Position:  Center fielder

Rajai Davisphoto source: Flickr via KA Sports Photos

Rajai Davis grew up playing not only baseball, but basketball and football as well. While he was in college Davis pursued baseball and was drafted in 2001 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Davis spent the next several years with playing minor league ball before making his debut in the Major League in 2006. After the Pirates, Davis did several short stints with many teams, including the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, and currently the New York Mets.

Did You Know?

Rajai Davis began his professional career as a switch-hitter, but went with his right hand full-time prior to the 2004 season.


6. Pat Neshek (September 4, 1980 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 39 years, 50 years
Current Team:  Philadelphia Phillies
MLB Debut: July 7, 2006
Position:  Pitcher

Pat Neshekphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via EricEnfermero

Pat Neshek is one of several players on this list who is currently 39 years old and grew up playing baseball. Neshek was initially drafted in 1999, but decided to continue his studies at Butler University. He was drafted again in 2002 and spent the next few years with the Minnesota Twins’ minor league teams.

Neshek made his Major League debut in 2006 for the Twins and stayed with the team for two more seasons. Since 2018, Neshek has played for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Did You Know?

Pat Neshek is known for his unique pitching style: Neshek’s arm motion slots about side-armed, with an explosive release point, which developed after a baseball struck his forearm in high school. Right-handed batters have difficulty tracking the path of his pitches, resulting in a .193 batting average, .243 on-base percentage, and a .311 slugging percentage against Neshek, in 1,143 career plate appearances.


5. Nelson Cruz (July 1, 1980 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 39 years, 115 days
Current Team:  Minnesota Twins
MLB Debut: September 19, 2005
Position:  Right fielder / Designated hitter

photo source: Wikimedia Commons via Keith Allison

Like a few of the other players on this list, Nelson Cruz is a Dominican-born player who has been in the Major Leagues for a long time. Although Cruz is an excellent baseball player, as a kid, basketball was his passion, but he played many sports and ended up pursuing baseball. Cruz was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the New York Mets in 2000, but was traded to the Oakland Athletics.

After spending four years in Oakland’s minor leagues, Cruz made his MLB debut in 2005 with the Milwaukee Brewers. Currently, Cruz is signed with the Minnesota Twins and has a $12 million team option for the 2020 season.

Did You Know?

Nelson Cruz was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 American League Championship Series, in which he hit six home runs and recorded 13 runs batted in, both MLB records for a single postseason series.


4. Erik Kratz (June 15, 1980 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 39 years, 131 days
Current Team:  New York Yankees
MLB Debut: July 17, 2010
Position:  Catcher

Erik Kratzphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Peetlesnumber1

Unlike most of the other players on this list, Erik Kratz started his Major League career fairly late – his early 30s. However, Kratz spent about six years in the minor leagues, after he was drafted in 2002, and has just as much experience as the other players his age. Kratz made his MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates and has played for various teams, including the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Houston Astro, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants, and currently the New York Yankees for the second time.

Did You Know?

Erik Kratz is a devout member of the Souderton, Pennsylvania Mennonite Church and was the first baseball player ever drafted out of Eastern Mennonite University.


3. Rich Hill (March 11, 1980 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 39 years, 227 days
Current Team:  Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB Debut: June 15, 2005
Position:  Pitcher

Rich Hillphoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Keith Allison

Rich Hill is another pitcher who has been playing the MLB for more than a decade. Hill is one of many players on this list who is currently 39 years old. Because he kept deciding to stay in school and play for his college team, Hill was drafted three different times: in 1999, 2001, and finally in 2002. After playing in the minors for a few years, Hill played his first Major League game in 2005 with the Chicago Cubs. Since 2016, Hill has played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Did You Know?

Rich Hill is the only pitcher in Major League history to have had a perfect game broken up by a 9th inning fielding error, and the only pitcher in Major League history to have a no-hitter broken up in extra innings by a walk-off home run.


2. Albert Pujols (January 16, 1980 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 39 years, 281 days
Current Team:  Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
MLB Debut: April 2, 2001
Position:  First baseman / Designated hitter

photo source: Wikimedia Commons via Marianne O’Leary


Just a few months away from his 40th birthday, Albert Pujols is the second oldest active MLB player, by three whole years! Pujols grew up playing baseball in his native Dominican Republic. He continued to play when he immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager.

Even as a teenager, Pujols was an exceptional player and did well during his minor league career. Pujols joined the MLB in 2001 when he was picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals. The only other team that Pujols has played for is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which he has been with since 2012.

Did You Know?

Albert Pujols has set many MLB records, including the MLB all-time record for most times grounded into a double play (376) and he is tied with Alex Rodriguez for 14 seasons of 100 or more RBI produced.


1. Fernando Rodney (March 18, 1977 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 42 years, 220 days
Current Team:  Washington Nationals
MLB Debut: May 4, 2002
Position:  Pitcher

photo source: Wikimedia Commons via Keith Allison

 

At 42 years of age, Fernando Rodney is currently the oldest active player in the MLB. Rodney was born in the Dominican Republic and was signed as an amateur free agent in 1997 by the Detroit Tigers. For the next few years, Rodney played in the minors and he made his Major League debut in 2002 for the Tigers.

While Rodney is currently with the Washington Nationals, he has also played with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins, and Oakland Athletics.

Did You Know?

On July 3, 2006, at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California, Fernando Rodney, Justin Verlander, and Joel Zumaya, each threw multiple fastballs clocked in at over 100 mph, becoming the first time in MLB history that three pitchers on the same team had done so during one game.


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